Re: [LONG RANT] Re: Linux stifles innovation...

From: Brian May (
Date: Tue Feb 20 2001 - 18:39:48 EST

>>>>> "Jeff" == Jeff Garzik <> writes:

    Jeff> FWIW, -every single- Windows driver source code I've seen
    Jeff> has been bloody awful. Asking them to release that code
    Jeff> would probably result in embarrassment. Same reasoning why
    Jeff> many companies won't release hardware specifications... The
    Jeff> internal docs are bad. Really bad.

Speaking as a user, I would much prefer to use an open source driver
that is "bloody awful" rather then a closed source driver that still
might be "bloody awful", unless I am confident that the vendor will
support me if I encounter a bug. (IMHO "bloody awful" means "awfully

In the past, I have had a case where my AGFA scanner stopped working,
as the software kept coming up with illegal operation errors.
Technical support were not the least bit interested in helping (no one
else has reported having the same problem), but instead blamed the
problem on my computer (try reinstalling it again, maybe this time it
will work?) Or: bring the scanner in, and if the same problem occurs
on our computer, we will fix it, otherwise we will have to charge you
for testing it.

At one stage I tricked the consultant into copying down the CPU
register information, but I got the strong impression that they
weren't interested in diagnosing the bug (they probably didn't have the
programmers anymore).

I ended up having to reinstall the entire MS-operating system on the
computer so it would work again. However, my feeling is that if I knew
what the problem was, it would have been easy to work around, eg. by
editing the appropriate entry in the system registry. I couldn't do
determine this myself though, without access to the source code.

(the scanner in question died about 1 month after warranty expired,
with very little use, so I went and purchased a HP scanner instead.)

Brian May <>
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Feb 23 2001 - 21:00:23 EST